Recently there have been calls for secession in the U.S. It is something many believe had been laid to rest with the end of the Civil War. Still, the issues of today seem so entangled and complex that many look toward "other possibilities" to solve seemingly unsolvable problems. Secession to them would provide a means of simply "starting all over again". But where? If done within the country it might trigger the unthinkable, begging the question: Is there another possibility?
Seventy percent of the earth's surface is uninhabited water. Most National/International "squabbling" is over the remaining thirty percent. Offshore "cruise" ships (virtual "cities") come closest to inhabiting this last vestige of "free" territory left on planet earth. And indeed it is "free", by International agreement. The seas have long been held separate from "control" by anyone, except those who navigate their waters. As such, people seeking to escape oppression of any kind need only "board" even the smallest of boats at ocean's edge, and sail 'ho twelve miles, to just beyond the internationally recognized "boundary" called "International Waters".
The following is an essay published on the internet some twelve years ago. It suggests that their may be another more progressive way to settle our problems. A way in which a "New America" could rise to show us all, that "America" isn't so much a land mass, but an "idea". An idea that now needs room to grow into her fullest expression, her maximal bounty.
Offshore Sea Colonies
By: M. J. Sperry
Synopsis: A proposal to colonize the sea by peoples who seek to live apart from existing land societies. The idea deals with methods of obtaining inexpensive, already existent "infrastructure" by using used barges outfitted to serve as a "mother ship" and used sailboats to serve as live-aboard "satellite" vessels. A patented "wave destroyer" device is explained in detail, its purpose being to make smooth the surface of the sea for extended habitation. Finally, there is a short history of offshore-colonization ideas and how this particular idea differs and solves the problems that prevented their fruition.
Text: Those that have the desire to live with others of the same ilk as a group, yet apart from any nation/state, could do so by starting a sea colony. These colonies might be composed of people with like religious, political or philosophical beliefs. They might be time-sharing vacation retreats, or colonies of thinkers and artisans. They may also be people just trying to "escape" other conditions they deem oppressive.
The colony I propose here would be an untethered "fleet" consisting of mother ship and smaller vessels, all made unsinkable. This fleet would move with the weather to escape storm seasons and generally live continuously in a paradise-like environment.
The mother ship would provide facilities not conveniently accessible to a smaller vessel. It might have small shops where goods and services are sold, a gym with running track & sauna, equipment for the processing of waste, the making of water and the reception/transmission of satellite internet and TV/radio signals.
Besides the moving from one location to the other, the most important service the mother ship would provide would be equipment for the "destruction of waves". In 1943 an inventor named Phillip Brasher was awarded U S Patent # 2,325,937 for his invention of a device that would simply and inexpensively "destroy" even the largest of waves. It consisted of piping that would be placed underwater between the waves and the mother ship. The piping would have holes along it through which compressed air would be released.
The purpose of the underwater releasing of air becomes apparent when it is considered that only a small amount of air is required to upset the hydraulic dynamics of a wave. The process slows the movement of the lower part of a wave enough to cause it to come crashing down on itself.
Since wave destruction is essential to a successful sea colony, an explanation of the process may be in order here. It functions in a manner similar to what happens when a wave comes crashing down as it meets a beach. The waters below the wave slow their forward progression due to the friction encountered where the sandy bottom and the lower part of the wave interface. The top part of the wave continues to move forward faster than the bottom part until the bottom simply is no longer in position to support the top, and the top comes crashing down.
This leaves a wide, long, flat expanse of sea surface free of waves except for the minor residual turbulence of the diminished wave. This process was actually used to save a concrete pier near El Segundo California in the 1940's. Another patent was later filed by the same inventor that used the same process to "clear" whole stretches of sea surface for the takeoff/landing of sea planes.
The author of the present idea has further refined the process through the replacement of underwater air bubbles with underwater airbags that would collapse and expand with the changing hydraulic pressure of passing waves. These bags could be kept in place through various means that might involve, among other things, anchoring and ballasting.